PHUKET: A Russian national has been charged with attacking an Australian tourist walking down the street with his family on Wednesday night.

Police were called to the scene by customers at the nearby Spice House Restaurant on Karon Beach at about 9:30pm, said Maj Theeradech Jiruksa of the Karon Police.

The Russian, 27-year-old Evgenii Baturin, had already fled the scene in his car when the police arrived.

Witnesses told officers that Australian national Mark Fuller, 44, had been walking down the street with his family when Mr Baturin sped past, driving very close to them as they walked.

When Mr Fuller shouted out at the car, Mr Baturin stopped, got out of the car and attacked Mr Fuller, knocking out two of his teeth.

Police identified Mr Baturin after checking CCTV footage at the restaurant, said Maj Theeradech, and on Thursday night officers spotted him walking in front of the Kata Beach Hotel and arrested him.

Mr Baturin admitted the attack and was charged with assault.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong